South Africa Tour/Rental Advise/Help

Discussion in 'Africa & Mid East' started by Cambi, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Africa4Adventure

    Africa4Adventure Chaz

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I havn't riden that particular pass but it is tar. Looked at it in Google Earth. Co-ords are here: -33.9833333°, 21.2333333°
    #21
  2. Magus

    Magus Never grew up...

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Texas
    I just returned from South Africa and the Western Cape and had the chance, again, to rent a bike and ride for a few days in this great Country. This time I headed out to Oudtshoorn which is a town in the Karoo or very near to it. The riding is amazing and the offroad opportunities are fantastic. I rode to "Hell" and back which is the name of a town(?)/lodge at the end of a 47km dirt track. It's in and out as once you make it in there you have to backtrack - there is no other way out. Highly recommend the area for both street and offroad.

    A note about bike rental in Cape Town. I rented this year from a place called CapeBike Rentals. They had a good selection of bikes, primarily BMWs and the rates were fairly standard, though I later found slightly better rates elsewhere. I went with a F800GS.

    The issue that I had (am having) with them is that when I returned the bike and pointed out to them that I had experienced a low-speed, off-road "get off" in the sand, they told me they take the bike to the BMW dealer and whatever they say the repair is, is what they take from your damage deposit (12,500 Rand or about $1500). I completely understand that these guys need to protect their bikes and I have no problem paying to do a reasonable repair for whatever damages I was responsible for but you can imagine what happens when I leave the Country and they take the bike to the dealer and get a complete parts and service quote from them: $3000! This for a bent clutch lever and scratched plastic on the left-side of the tank fairing. Anyway, there isn't much I can do about it and I will lose the entire damage deposit but I wanted others to beware of this practice. This bike had 22k on it when I got it - for $3000 you could replace half the bike!

    My buddy rented his R1200GS from another place Cape Bike Travel. He got the 1200 for the same price as I got the 800 for and they did not charge any sort of damage deposit upfront. They also came to his hotel to pick the bike up when the trip was over. He was extremely pleased with them and I would concur.

    Edit: he later received a $1000 charge on his cc for damage. I don't know the details but he thought it was excessive.

    Anyway, Cape Town is a great place to base a trip out of. So much to see and so many different environments to explore in the Western Cape.
    #22
  3. Doc Rich

    Doc Rich Dance with the Angels

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Central Coast, Australia
    I am not surprised - good old SA rip off. I am a SA and it embarresses me when companies do this. Not unusual as many SA companies have no idea on the definition of ethics ! My apologies on their bealf and on the behalf of my countryman who feel the same way I do. When a SA company sees a foreigner all they see are dollar signs. Depsicable.:evil
    #23
  4. Doc Rich

    Doc Rich Dance with the Angels

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Central Coast, Australia
    I certainly wont be using that company. I thinks its chepaer to buy a second hand bike and sell it when finished or store it locally for another trip. Works out cheaper. SA is a bikers paradise with its weather and scenery. And friendly people. :clap
    #24
  5. Magus

    Magus Never grew up...

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, in all my rides around the Cape I have run into nothing but the greatest people. The terrain is amazing for riding and the food doesn't suck either ;) Note hearty lunch fare! Just one bad rental experience - don't let it deter anyone.

    Attached Files:

    #25
  6. J_B

    J_B Mid-life Crisis

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    475
    Location:
    Cottesloe - Western Australia
    Can someone advise the best spot to source second hand bikes out of Capetown or does anyone hire dr650 or drz400's looking at a trip with my 2 boys in 2012 and dont fancy paying for repiars on 3 BMW's

    Thanks

    JB
    #26
  7. Magus

    Magus Never grew up...

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Texas
    JB - I'm no expert on the rental situation in CT but in the three years I have rented there it has been pretty limited to BMWs and Harleys(!). I kind of remember a small, independent guy a couple of years back that had some KTMs but I did not see him when I looked for rentals this last trip. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Good luck - you'll love the riding!
    #27
  8. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7
    After reading about the bad experiences people have had renting motorcyles in South Africa, I thought I should plug the place that worked well for me this spring - SAMA Tours.

    I had no plans to rent a motorcyle when my plane landed in Johannesburg. I called SAMA tours and made a reservation for the next day while still on the tarmac.

    Darryl Berman (owner, I think) gave me instructions on how to get to his house (he rents the BMW motorcycles out of his spacious garage) via mass transit. He picked me up from the train station and took me to his house to start the paperwork with he and his adult age daughter.

    He said if my motorcycle broke, to call and he would bring me a replacement. It was a like new 2009 and it survived all my abuse so I can't comment on his actual delivery of replacement motorcycle.

    About 2 hours later the BMW 650 I rented was on the road headed for Lesotho.

    Darryl lent me a riding coat and gloves free of charge - he did charge me for the helmet. Tossed in a nice map book for free also.

    I brought the bike back 6 days later (he charged me for 5 days) bent and broken in many ways. I bent the handlebars, tore off the windscreen, broke the clutch lever, broke some body plastic, bent a foot peg, etc. We inventoried the damage and he dropped me off at the train station to continue my journey.

    He has insurance for all damages beyond 7,000 Rand (~$1,000). He sent me a bill a week after I returned the bike for the first $1,000 in damages. The itemized bill was from a BMW dealership and it included all the stuff I mangled and nothing more. I thought he dealership was charging a lot - but I showed two of my friends that own BMWs and they said the charges were right in line with US charges at a DMW dealership.

    All in all, nice guy, professional. Did not gouge me on add-ons. Did not screw me on the damage I caused the bike. I'd rent from him again.
    #28
  9. Aquatic

    Aquatic Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,190
    Location:
    Buddina, Sunny Coast, Australia
    All you guys planning a South African trip, have a look here - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php


    You will find all the info that you are looking for. If not, just ask.

    If you still don't get an answer, it is a state secret! :evil
    You can't go wrong

    Just introduce yourself first and stay away from "Jou Ma" ('Jo Mamma' equivilent)
    #29
  10. JIM MORRIS

    JIM MORRIS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    FOURWAYS, JOHANNESBURG.
    J_B, Maybe a bit late for you. I have to concur with DOC RICH, South African business ethics is sometimes lacking. It is also embarrassing to me. I run 6 to 10 day low-profile minimalistic hardcore offroad adventure rides in Southern Africa (that is South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and sometimes Botrswana). Typically - A lowveld ride (Kruger Park Fence), A Desert Ride (Volcano Run) and a Mountain Ride (Lesotho). I provide hired DRZ4OOs from a local "Official Suzuki Dearler" for foreign riders. These DRZ400s are specially maintained and prepared for purpose and are as good as we can get them. Overseas participants who have preferred to bring their own bikes have done so under a carnet from their own country. This seems to work well enough and is fairly trouble free. Of course they are required to re-export their bikes again. Local riders use local bikes. We also ask for a damage deposit, but are very careful to agree the damage prior to rider departure. As the hirer is an "official dealer", this can be done quick and easily. The notion of buying a bike here in South Africa and selling it again (or storing it) is not really practicable. A foreigner / tourist would not be able to register a vehicle here.

    If you are interested, probably the best first move would be for me to point you to some of the Ride Reports (written by others) to see if any of these rides appeal to you. Some of the RRs can be found on South African Wilddog site as mentioned by Aquatic.

    Cheers.
    #30